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10 Mar 2020 | 02:36 PM UTC

US: Government creates containment area in New Rochelle (New York state) March 10 to prevent spread of COVID-19 /update 20

New York Governor creates containment area in New Rochelle (New York state) on March 10 to prevent spread of COVID-19; National Guard deployed to assist

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transportation
USA

Event

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Tuesday, March 10, that schools, houses of worship, and large gathering areas in New Rochelle (New York state) will be closed from Thursday, March 12, until Wednesday, March 25, to prevent further spread of the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Governor Cuomo deployed the National Guard on Tuesday to assist in creating a 1.6 km (1 mi)-radius "containment area" around a point near a synagogue in the community, where 108 of New York state's 173 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed.

The government will set up a satellite testing facility within the containment area. There are no plans to close roads or impose travel restrictions in the area.

To date, there have been 788 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, including 28 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On February 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the risk of spread and the risk of impact of the virus is "very high" at the global level.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.

Travelers returning from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran who develop symptoms of pneumonia are advised to call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.